Chhath Puja is the most joyous part of the year which fosters positivity and prosperity all around. India is said to be a land full of festivals and culture. Chhath Puja is among the best festivals celebrated in India. This festival is celebrated with full enthusiasm in different parts of India including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. With time passing by most of the festivals are just hyped and commercialized on major scale in India. But Chhath Puja is one of the festivals in India which is still celebrated with immense belief in the almighty. It is one of the most pristine celebrations which bring people together beyond their religions and faith. This year is yet a lot different from the kind of life and celebrations most of us have seen. Due to outbreak of corona virus many states have banned gatherings on the banks of river and have requested citizens to celebrate Chhath at their homes.
Why Chhath Puja is celebrated?
Chhath Puja is one of the oldest festivals in India. The existence of this pristine festival is mentioned in many old scriptures. It is also mentioned in some of the hymns of the Rigveda. Chhath Puja is a ritual of worshipping lord Surya (God Sun) and thanking him for being the primary source of energy and supporting life on Earth. Devotees seek blessings from Lord Surya for the prosperity and good health of their family. It is believed that God Ram and Goddess Sita also used to celebrate Chhath Puja. Sita Charan Temple in the city of Munger, Bihar is where Sita performed Chhath Vrat after returning from exile.
Science behind Chhath Puja
The reason to celebrate Chhath Puja can also be explained scientifically. The 4 day long rituals of Chhath Puja makes it one of the longest celebrated festivals in India after Navratri. Taking holy baths in the river, fasting, and offering Prasad and arghya to the sun during sunrise and sunset is all what is done to seek the blessings of Surya Dev. Devotees bath twice a day (at sunrise and sunset) when the ultraviolet rays of the sun are minimum. The sunrays at this time of the day are beneficial and help in the process of detoxification of mind, soul and the body.
Rituals of Chhath
Chhath is celebrated for four consecutive days and each day has a different kind of ritual associated to it.
1st Day: Nyay-Khay
On the first day, early in the morning people take bath in the holy river Ganga and fast for the entire day. People then offer Prasad and offer it to the Sun. People purify their house and surroundings with the Ganga Jal (Ganga water).
2nd Day: Lohanda and Kharna
On second day, devotees fast for entire day, offer Tasmai and Puris to the Sun god and then break their fast by taking a bath in the evening. Again after that they fast for 36 hours without food and water.
3rd Day: Sandhya Arghya
On third day, devotees fast without drinking water. Children in the house prepare basket with bamboos and put fruits in it. Male members of the house carry it on head to the Ghats where Vratin (female members who are fasting) offer Arghya to Sun god and then return with the same basket. In night people lit diyas (earthen pots) beneath five sugarcane sticks and sing folk songs. These five sticks represent five elements of nature, Panchatattva including earth, water, fire, air and space.
4th Day: Bihaniya Arghya
On the last day, families gather on the banks of Ganga before sunrise. Vratin take bath in the river, offer prayers and Prasad to the Sun god and then break their fast with fruits in the basket they brought along. On the way back home, Vratin worship the soli for supporting life on Earth and providing them food. These rituals and fasting might feel a little harder but with all the joy devotees carry in their heart for this festival makes it easier to perform. Every year Chhath is celebrated in India with greatest joy and enthusiasm. For the ones planning to head home to celebrate Chhath Puja with their families can book tickets from Air Asia flight app of EaseMyTrip at discounted fares. It is the only Swadeshi travel portal which doesn’t charge convenience fees from their customer and provides the lowest price on internet.